THE NEED OF UNDERSTANDING THE FALSE RELIGIONS 1
The New “Science of Religion” to be Viewed with Discrimination—The Study of the Oriental Systems too Long a Monopoly of Anti-Christian Scholars—The Changed Aspects of the Missionary Work—The Significant Experience of Ziegenbalz—Fears Entertained in Reference to this Subject by Timid Believers—The Different View taken of the Old Heathen Systems of Greece and Rome—The Subject Considered from the Standpoint of Missionary Candidates—The Testimony of Intelligent and Experienced Missionaries—Reasons for Studying Oriental Systems Found in the Increased Intercourse of the Nations; in the Intellectual Quickening of Oriental Minds by Education; in the Resistance and even Aggressiveness of Heathen Systems; in the Diversities of the Buddhist Faith in Different Lands—False Systems to be Studied with a Candid Spirit—The Distinction to be Drawn between Religion and Ethics—Reasons why a Missionary should Pursue these Studies before Arriving on his Field—Reasons why the Ministry at Home Should Acquaint Themselves with Heathen Systems—Their Active Alliance with Various Forms of Western Infidelity—Intellectual Advantages to be Derived from such Studies—A Broader and Warmer Sympathy with Universal Humanity to be Gained—A Better Understanding of the Unique Supremacy of the Gospel as the Only Hope of the World—Pastors at Home are also Missionaries to the Heathen—They are Sharers in the Conflict through the Press.
The methods of the early
Christian church in dealing
with heathenism 39
The Coincidences of the Present Struggle with that of the First Christian Centuries—The Mediaeval Missionary Work of a Simple Character—That of India, Japan, China, and the Turkish Empire a Severe Intellectual Struggle as well as a Spiritual Conquest—Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam, present Obstacles and Resistances Similar to those of Ancient Greece and Rome—How far Contrasts Appear between the Early and the Present Conquests—The Methods of Paul—His Tact in Recognizing Truth wherever Found, and Using it for his Purpose—The Attitude of the Early Christian Fathers toward the Heathen—Augustine’s Acknowledgment of the Good which he Received from Cicero and Plato—The Important Elements which Platonism Lacked, and which were Found Only in the Gospel of Christ—The Great Secret of Power in the Early Church Found in its Moral Earnestness, as Shown by Simplicity of Life, and especially by Constancy even Unto a Martyr’s Death—The Contrast between the Frugality of the Early Church and the Luxury and Vice of Roman Society—The Great Need of this Element of Success at the Present Time—The Observance of a Wise Discrimination in the Estimate of Heathen Philosophy by the Great Leaders of the Early Church—The Generality with which